The Psychology behind successful conversion of leads (3)


We all want to feel significant

The need to feel significant is one of the 6 basic needs we all have. The others are certainty, variety, love, growth and contribution. We all want to feel important and significant, in our own and our peers’ eyes.

You can use this by making your customers feel important by letting them know you care about them. You can do this by giving great customer service. Make it as personal as you can, and ask for and act on their feedback. They will see that you value them and be more likely buy from you again (and refer others to you).

We want to be part of a Community

Aristotle said “Man is by nature a social animal. Anyone who does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god.”

We have a built-in need to be a part of a social community and to feel connected to others. This makes us feel secure and comfortable and motivates us to take action. This means if a prospective customer sees other customers like them, they will be more likely to buy.

You can use this when you sell to a customer. Give them something to make them feel like they are now part of your community. This also builds customer loyalty. LinkedIn groups and Facebook are simple ways to build a community. Inviting customers to join them works well, and gives you another communication channel.

Starbucks did this in a clever way through a website for customer feedback (My Starbuck Idea). All customers can see comments plus what the company has done about them.

Howard Schultz is the founder of Starbucks. He said: “We’re in the people business serving coffee. We’re not in the coffee business serving people.”

People react to what is front of mind

Daniel Gardner is the author of The Science of Fear. He says “recent, emotional, vivid events are all more likely to have an impact than others.”

Jonah Berger is the bestselling author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On. He says “if something is top-of-mind it will be tip-of-the-tongue. It’s like peanut butter reminding us of jelly. The more we’re triggered to think about a product or idea, the more we’ll talk about it.”

We all use media to get information. It creates immediate memories which, when they are front of our minds, will trigger us to take action. Scientists in the USA proved this when they looked at sales of earthquake insurance. Sales jump after an earthquake, even though the risk of an earthquake is at it’s lowest.

You can use this in your PR. Try to link current events or celebrities in the news with your marketing. It creates triggers that make people remember your product. Here is an example;



Oreo linked the Mars Rover landing and the anniversary of the moon landing to their marketing.  These events were on the top of people’s minds anyway. Now when they think of these events, they will be more likely to think of Oreo cookies as well.

We equate scarcity with value

The less there is of something, the more people see it as a valued commodity. That in turn means they will want to buy it more. The major diamond suppliers control the supply to maintain scarcity and price. It can backfire though. A study by Worchel, Lee and Adewole, found that a product goes down in value if it goes from scarce to abundant.

You can use this by offering a limited number of products for a set period. You can also make some services only available to a specified set of customers.

We all like a small amount of controversy

Jonah Berger found too much controversy turns people off, but a little bit attracts them.

He discovered that “controversy increases likelihood of discussion at low levels. Beyond a moderate level of controversy, extra controversy actually decreases likelihood of discussion.”

Having a low level of controversy in your marketing can engage your prospective customers. It generates curiosity and can trigger anger. That is the most effective emotion for inspiring viral content or spreading the word!

You can use this by accepting that your business will not appeal to everyone. Be clear about what you stand for. Some people will dislike you, but, if you get it right, many more will attracted to your business.

This is an example of how a business used a controversial headline to attract readers:


steve jobs

It worked because it challenged one of people’s 3 Bs (behaviour, belief, and belongings).

We’ve used it before by saying “You should welcome customer complaints”. We had lots of comments disagreeing (and some agreeing!) but it created good communication which opened up people to our way of thinking.


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